Archive for June, 2015

Buhari Set To Probe N3.8trn Missing Oil Money @arthurrichard61

A panel of four governors was, yesterday, constituted to probe the affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, following revelations that the corporation withheld N3.8 trillion of the N8.1 trillion generated from oil receipts.

The committee comprising governors of Gombe, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Kaduna states is also to unravel circumstances of the disappearance of another $2.1 billion which was allegedly unilaterally withdrawn by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in the last six months of its tenure.

Prof. Sylvester Monye, who served as special adviser on monitoring and evaluation to President Jonathan, in an interview, also cautioned the new administration’s officials against sustaining the language of opposition while in office, saying that their continuing propaganda could negatively impact on the sound economic indicators transferred by Dr. Jonathan.Just before the NEC meeting got underway, a senior official of the Goodluck Jonathan administration gave reasons why it passed over an empty treasury to the new government.

At the inauguration of the NEC, President Buhari cautioned the state governors to shore up their finances towards ensuring that they do not lag behind in their obligations. He also disclosed plans to channel G-7 funding for the rehabilitation of three states ravaged by Boko Haram.

President Buhari also pledged to adhere strictly to constitutional provisions on the maintenance of the Federation Account which stipulates that all funds from revenue generating agencies should be paid into the Federation Account.

Following the inaugural meeting of the NEC, Governor Oshiomhole accompanied by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel briefed the press.

He disclosed that based on the reports presented by NNPC and officials of the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to the NEC, it was discovered that a total of N3.8 trillion generated from oil revenues in the last three years was withheld by the NNPC.

Besides, he said that the Ministry of Finance unilaterally spent $2.1 billion from the Excess Crude Account without recourse to the governors between last November and May, 2015.

He said: “This is the first time we had a National Economic Council meeting in which under the instructions of the President, NNPC and the Office of the Accountant -General of the Federation were compelled to provide information in black and white on issues as it relates to the total sales of Nigerian crude from 2012 to May 2015. This has never happened before and for us this is profound.

“What we saw from those figures,which I believe Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned about N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the Federation Account between 2012 and May, 2015 was N4.3 trillion and NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion. We are talking about transparency, we are talking about change.

“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion. The major revelation here is that the entire federation, that is the Federal Government, the states and all the 774 local governments, the amount the NNPC paid into the federation account for distribution to these three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion.

“Which means the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged, what is stolen. These are huge figures.

“So if you were doing the right thning, you won’t have a situation where the NNPC alone will spend N3.8 trillion and remit to the federal, states and local governments N4.3 trillion which means NNPC is taking about 47 per cent and that explains all the leakages you are talking about.”

On the withdrawals from the ECA, he said: “We looked at the figures for the Excess Crude Account, ECA, the last time the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, reported to the Council and it is in the minutes. She reported by November 2014, that we had $4.1 billion but today the Accountant-General’s Office reported that we have $2.0 billion, which means the Honourable Minister spent $2.1billion without authority of the NEC.

“That money was not distributed to states, it was not paid to the three tiers of government. This is why the NEC has set up a panel to look at what accrued, what it was spent for, when and by whom, so that Nigerians will have the full picture of all the transactions as regards the much talked about Excess Crude Account.”

Giving the mission of the four-man team to probe the NNPC, he said:  “The four-man committee will check the books of NNPC most specially the issue of excess crude and what is not remitted into the Federation Account.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State also speaking at the briefing said:  “What we have seen in the last few months or years is that the  Excess Crude Account was operated unilaterally by the Federal Government, drawings were made unilaterally without consulting those that actually own the money because the Excess Crude Account is 52 per cent owned by the federal government and 48 per cent by the states and LGAs.

“So the decision of the NEC is to set up this committee of four to look at the operations of the Excess Crude Account and make recommendations to council on its future.”

Earlier while inaugurating the NEC, President Buhari said:  “The Federal Government will abide by the provisions of Sections 80 and 162 of the Constitution and ensure more accountability, transparency and integrity in the Distribution of the Federation Account. All revenue generating agencies such as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) amongst others shall comply with stipulated Financial Regulations and Administrative Instructions in their remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”

The President’s assertion could mean the imminent abrogation of the Excess Crude Account, whose operation is currently the subject of litigation.

The President also unfolded plans to attract funding from the G7 countries for the rehabilitation of the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“I have directed the frontline states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to articulate realistic assessments, costs, locations on Local Government by-Local-Government of affected facilities for submission to the President of the G7 for further verification. In addition, the requirements of the military have been prepared by the service chiefs for the consideration of the G7 Nations“, he said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Sylvester Monye, a former special adviser to the president on monitoring and evaluation in the Jonathan administration yesterday explained reasons why the new administration received what it described as an empty treasury.

Speaking on a live Channels Television interview monitored in Lagos, Monye said government was a going concern involving receipts and debits with incoming funds regularly being channelled for budgeted purposes.

Noting that it was wrong for officials of the new administration to claim that they met an empty treasury, he urged the officials to empty their utterances of the propaganda they spoke  while in the opposition.

“They are creating bigger problems for themselves because, from my own position where I stand, it is not true. It is not the issue of meeting empty treasury. The fundamental issue is, was there supposed to be anything in the treasury?

“That is the fundamental thing. Before we begin to look at empty treasury or not, we need to look at the provisions of the constitution. The constitution says that any money that is earned from oil sales, tax, customs collection must go into the Federation Account and once it gets in there, it must be shared according to the revenue sharing formula.

“How can you be talking of empty treasury when there is a court case saying that that little savings you have must be shared.”

He thus called for the amendment of the constitution to allow for savings from receipts into the Federation Account saying that under the current provisions there was no provision for savings, a development he said made it necessary for the treasury to be empty at the end of every sharing.

He said the Jonathan administration left behind $1.5 billion in the Sovereign Wealth Fund and another $2.09 billion in the Excess Crude Account.

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Tension in Anambra as 47 Boko Haram Prisoners  Arrives Ekwulobia Prisons @arthurrichard61

When the rumour of the alleged relocation broke out weekend, hundreds of youths stormed the streets and all markets in the state were shut in protest.

A visit to Ekwulobia Prisons, however, did not show any sign that new inmates were brought there and the prisons officials said they had not received any signal to that effect.

However, Vanguard gathered last night that the 47 Boko Haram prisoners were brought to Ekwulobia prisons in the dead of the night of Sunday, June 28, amid tight security.

Yesterday, agitated people in various parts of the state were seen making telephone calls and Ekwulobia, the fourth largest city in the state, has been getting renewed attention, with those whose relations are serving sentences in the medium security prison expressing worry over the development, which they said would put their relations there at great risk, in view of the antecedents of Boko Haram suspects.

The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Uju Nwogu, could not confirm the development, even as she said Governor Willie Obiano had gone to Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari over the matter.

Following the governor’s absence, the weekly state executive council meeting, which holds every Monday, could not hold yesterday.

Obiano’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. James Eze, had in a statement, exonerated the governor from the relocation arrangement.

Eze said further that Governor Obiano’s efforts to establish understanding and achieve speedy and peaceful resolution of the matter went to the highest authorities, adding that he was given assurances that the matter would be looked into, with a view to resolving it.

There were also feelers that traders in the commercial town of Onitsha have vowed to continue their protest, following alleged relocation of the prisoners from the Northern part of the country to Ekwulobia Prisons.

Buhari Orders Re-issuance of Villa Press Pass to Mallam Ubale Musa @arthurrichard61

 “Part of the change promised by President Buhari is correcting things that were wrongly done before.

“Mr Ubale Musa’s accreditation was wrongly withdrawn. To redress the wrong done to him by the withdrawal, we have returned his Villa Press Pass to him so that he can continue his work without hindrance,’’

This were words of the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina while presenting the re-issued villa press pass to Musa at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In his remarks after receiving his Villa Press Pass, Musa thanked the President and his media team for restoring his accreditation.

He promised that he would continue to do his work as a State House Correspondent objectively, professionally and with due regards to the ethics of journalism.

(News) Presidency orders VC, registrar to refund salary overpayments

Vice-Chancellor-Federal-University-Otuoke-Bayelsa-State-Prof.-Mobolaji-Aluko-360x225

The Presidency, through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, has directed the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, to refund over payment of salaries running into millions of naira.

The Registrar of the university, David Suowari, was also directed to refund cumulatively the sum of N130, 692.71 per month in excess of his due salary.

The over payments were said to have been discovered during the commission’s visit to the institution on May 12, 2015 to carry out an inspection of FUO’s remuneration practices vis-a-vis the extant government’s pay policy.

The VC and the registrar were accused of appropriating certain allowances to themselves which were not approved by the government.

These concerns were raised in a letter from the NSIWC to Aluko, signed for the Chairman of the Commission by the Director of Compensation, Chike Ogbechie.

The commission said, “The findings of the inspection in respect of your institution (Federal University, Otuoke) were as follow:

“The Vice-Chancellor was being paid total emoluments of N1,970,476.76 monthly, whereas he should not earn more than N922,810.23 if he were paid furniture allowance en bloc earlier, or N1,043,176.79 if he were being paid furniture allowance.

“Much of the difference was attributed to certain allowances which were not approved by the government.”

In the case of the registrar, the commission said he was being paid N130,692.71 in excess of his due salary of N502,580.25.

The commission also said the university disaggregated its staff salaries against the government’s policy of pay consolidation.

The NSIWC, therefore, directed the university to stop “the wrongful practices” and comply with relevant rules and rates.

The commission added, “We hereby direct the vice-chancellor and the registrar to refund the cumulative overpayments made to them.

“You are to report to the commission in writing, your compliance with this directive within four weeks of this letter.”

It will be recalled that Prof. Mobolaji Aluko became the Vice-Chancellor of the university in February 2011.

But reacting to the commission’s position, Aluko said in a text message to our correspondent that there was neither disaggregation of salaries nor overpayment of salaries.

The vice-chancellor said, “Rather, pension and health insurance allowances were due to three of us, Diaspora Vice-Chancellors who are on Sabbatical from our foreign universities, and co-paid monthly in naira to us for payment to those foreign universities.

“Without that concession occurring, our own local salaries would have been wiped out completely, and we could not have accepted the job.”

Aluko wondered why the issue was coming up in the fifth and final year of their tenure.

“However, the need for accountability is welcome, and Salaries and Wages Commission will be fully reconciled to the full facts,” the VC stated.

Credit: PUNCH.

(Music) Youngperry ft Malaika drop Ayekaye @tj_shetade

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DOWNLOAD http://www.hulkshare.com/alaomalaika/youngperry-ft-malaika-ayekaye

Rapper, Youngperry ft Fuji Star Malaika. It is a dance hall. It is a must listen to and titled Ayekaye.

Caught In The Act: Amber Rose Caught Kissing Blac Chyna On BET Awards Red Carpet @arthurichard61

 Camera caught up with the dynamic duo at the awards, where they opened up about their celebratory style choices.

“We decided to come together and celebrate the fact that in all 50 states gay marriage is legal,” Rose said. “And we support the gay and lesbian community so much we decided to be each other’s date today.”

Amber Rose Kisses Blac Chyna on BET Awards Red Carpet, Celebrates Gay Marriage

Blow By Blow As It Happened At The BET Awards 2015 @arturrichard61 

 

Even though Janet Jackson did not perform at the 15th annual BET Awards Sunday night, her Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award tribute is still easily one of the most memorable moments as it boasts Ciara, Jason Derulo, and Tinashe recreating some of Jackson’s best choreography.

Other notable highlights include the 20th anniversary celebration of Diddy’s Bad Boy Records and an unforgettable acceptance speech from Smokey Robinson.

1. Stars Bring Janet Jackson’s Moves to Life – The pressure was on for Ciara, Jason Derulo, and Tinashe to deliver during the highly-anticipated tribute to Janet Jackson, the recipient of the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award, and they did. Ciara, who has been compared to Jackson since her 2004 debut, handled the bulk of the homage, tackling a medley that included many of Jackson’s most impressive routines for “If,” “Black Cat,” and “Rhythm Nation.” Ciara transformed into Jackson. During a point in the “Rhythm Nation” sequence, when she turned to the crowd and flipped her long curly hair out of her face, she bore a striking resemblance to the superstar. Tinashe kicked off the tribute doing the moves from Jackson’s heralded solo video, “Pleasure Principle,” and Derulo danced to more of Jackson’s pop hits. When Jackson accepted her award, she said that when she made Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 album 25 years ago, she hoped that “the world would be a better place,” but acknowledged that today “there’s even more to be done.”

2. Diddy Delivered Surprise Bad Boy Reunion – Diddy’s brief stint in jail last week for getting into an altercation with his son’s UCLA football coach, didn’t hamper arguably the best surprise reunion in the history of the BET Awards. The Bad Boy roster was in full force Sunday with appearances from many of its biggest acts of the 1990s – Faith Evans, Mase, the Lox, 112, Lil Kim, and even a video projection of the late Notorious B.I.G. blasting through their staple hits. Lil Kim’s emergence from an elevator below the stage in time to perform her verse from “All About the Benjamins” was an explosive highlight. The set also received an assist from Pharrell Williams, who joined Diddy to premiere a new song, “Finna Get Loose.”

Diddy Falls Into Hole in BET Awards Stage

Sean “Diddy” Combs was out on bail after his confrontation with a UCLA football coach, but it turns out that was only the start of his recent troubles.

 3. Smokey Robinson Told Young Stars to Check Their Egos – As if performing and also having Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke, and Ne-Yo cover his music flawlessly wasn’t moving enough, Robinson’s humble acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award honor is what truly amazed the crowd. The “Tears of a Clown” singer and songwriter advised his predecessors to stop being full of themselves. “There are so many people who wish they had one person who they felt loved them, and for you to become self-absorbed because millions of people around the world love you … is ridiculous,” he said. “You should be thankful. It’s a blessing.”

Ciara Nails Janet Dance Tribute, Bad Boy Records Reunites, Smokey Robinson Checks Egos at BET Awards

4. Nicki Minaj Introduces Mama Minaj – When accepting her Best Female Hip-Hop Artist award, Minaj brought a special woman on stage with her, her mother, Carol Maraj. “I wanted to bring my mommy up,” Nicki told the audience. “It’s the first time the world gets to see her.” Nicki then turned to her mother and thanked her for her support. It was just one of Nicki’s many moments of the night that also included her endearing hug with boyfriend Meek Mill after they performed “All Eyes on You” and later her interruption of her own Viewer’s Choice Awards acceptance speech to ask, “What was this award for?” She explained that she was confused because she was backstage when the category was announced.

Ciara Nails Janet Dance Tribute, Bad Boy Records Reunites, Smokey Robinson Checks Egos at BET Awards

Even though Janet Jackson did not perform at the 15th annual BET Awards Sunday night, her Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award tribute is still easily one of the most memorable moments as it boasts Ciara, Jason Derulo, and Tinashe recreating some of Jackson’s best choreography.

Other notable highlights include the 20th anniversary celebration of Diddy’s Bad Boy Records and an unforgettable acceptance speech from Smokey Robinson.

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Here is our list of favorite moments:

1. Stars Bring Janet Jackson’s Moves to Life – The pressure was on for Ciara, Jason Derulo, and Tinashe to deliver during the highly-anticipated tribute to Janet Jackson, the recipient of the Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award, and they did. Ciara, who has been compared to Jackson since her 2004 debut, handled the bulk of the homage, tackling a medley that included many of Jackson’s most impressive routines for “If,” “Black Cat,” and “Rhythm Nation.” Ciara transformed into Jackson. During a point in the “Rhythm Nation” sequence, when she turned to the crowd and flipped her long curly hair out of her face, she bore a striking resemblance to the superstar. Tinashe kicked off the tribute doing the moves from Jackson’s heralded solo video, “Pleasure Principle,” and Derulo danced to more of Jackson’s pop hits. When Jackson accepted her award, she said that when she made Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 album 25 years ago, she hoped that “the world would be a better place,” but acknowledged that today “there’s even more to be done.”

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Janet Jackson Returns To Spotlight At 2015 BET Awards

The 49-year-old star made her first public appearance in nearly two years to accept the “Ultimate Icon” award.

2. Diddy Delivered Surprise Bad Boy Reunion – Diddy’s brief stint in jail last week for getting into an altercation with his son’s UCLA football coach, didn’t hamper arguably the best surprise reunion in the history of the BET Awards. The Bad Boy roster was in full force Sunday with appearances from many of its biggest acts of the 1990s – Faith Evans, Mase, the Lox, 112, Lil Kim, and even a video projection of the late Notorious B.I.G. blasting through their staple hits. Lil Kim’s emergence from an elevator below the stage in time to perform her verse from “All About the Benjamins” was an explosive highlight. The set also received an assist from Pharrell Williams, who joined Diddy to premiere a new song, “Finna Get Loose.”

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TV In No Time

Diddy Falls Into Hole in BET Awards Stage

Sean “Diddy” Combs was out on bail after his confrontation with a UCLA football coach, but it turns out that was only the start of his recent troubles.

3. Smokey Robinson Told Young Stars to Check Their Egos – As if performing and also having Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke, and Ne-Yo cover his music flawlessly wasn’t moving enough, Robinson’s humble acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award honor is what truly amazed the crowd. The “Tears of a Clown” singer and songwriter advised his predecessors to stop being full of themselves. “There are so many people who wish they had one person who they felt loved them, and for you to become self-absorbed because millions of people around the world love you … is ridiculous,” he said. “You should be thankful. It’s a blessing.”

Ciara Nails Janet Dance Tribute, Bad Boy Records Reunites, Smokey Robinson Checks Egos at BET Awards

4. Nicki Minaj Introduces Mama Minaj – When accepting her Best Female Hip-Hop Artist award, Minaj brought a special woman on stage with her, her mother, Carol Maraj. “I wanted to bring my mommy up,” Nicki told the audience. “It’s the first time the world gets to see her.” Nicki then turned to her mother and thanked her for her support. It was just one of Nicki’s many moments of the night that also included her endearing hug with boyfriend Meek Mill after they performed “All Eyes on You” and later her interruption of her own Viewer’s Choice Awards acceptance speech to ask, “What was this award for?” She explained that she was confused because she was backstage when the category was announced.

5. Sam Smith Stunt Double Accepts His BET Award – Sam Smith received the Best New Artist honor, beating out Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe, and Fetty Wap. Even though he was not in attendance to personally receive the award, his trophy was in good hands. Co-host Anthony Anderson accepted on Smith’s behalf, wearing an outfit modeled after the pop signer. Anderson wore a slim fitted, royal blue suit, ankle-length pants, loafers without socks, and a pompadour wig. Anderson joked that Smith did not attend because he is white and thought he had no shot winning a Black Entertainment Award.

6. Rihanna Previews “Bitch Better Have My Money” Video – BET used the entire weekend to premiere several new music videos on their pre-shows, but Rihanna introduced a one-minute clip of “Bitch Better Have My Money” during the broadcast. In the theatrical short, Rihanna portrays a villainous character who kidnaps a woman.

7. Former Twitter Foes, Tamar Braxton and K. Michelle Make Amends – After performing their own solo records, Braxton and K. Michelle unite to sing a cover of Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Know” before being joined by the iconic soul singer. At the end of the song, Braxton and K. Michelle hugged while holding hands with LaBelle, who commended the Supreme Court for its ruling in support of same sex marriage.

 There was plenty more action. Alicia Keys joined The Weeknd for a special duet of “Earned It,” Donnie McClurkin paid respects to the late gospel luminary Andrae Crouch singing “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” and Anthony Hamilton and Gary Clark Jr. remembered the late Percy Sledge, B.B. King, and Ben E. King. Additionally, the cast ofEmpire, Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, and Fetty Wap also graced the stage.
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